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Santa Cruz County Land Use & Development Overview

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California FarmLink’s goal is to be a force in California’s next generation of farmers and ranchers as a licensed lender with a specialty in working with the under-served, including organic farmers, immigrants, women, and farmers of color.

California Local Pin Marker Local Land Use & Development Digest

Santa Cruz South of Laurel Plan Presented


In a June 18 meeting of the Santa Cruz City Council with planning commissioners attending, a draft plan was presented for the South of Laurel area (SoLa) project including a permanent Warriors arena and 1600 units of housing in towers up to 12 stories tall.

Environmental Groups Appeal Sites Reservoir Ruling


A new round of litigation began when environmental groups opposed to the Sites reservoir in Colusa County filed an appeal on a ruling which dismissed their suit seeking to halt the project from proceeding.

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California Monarch and Pollinator Habitat Project Approved

The Ben Lomond Village Alliance (BLVA) California Monarch And Pollinator Habitat Kit project has been accepted into the Pollinator Habitat Monarch Conservation program through the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in Sacramento. Out of 200 applicants, the BLVA project was …

Santa Cruz Local logo LOCAL NEWS
Inside the Plan to Expand Downtown Santa Cruz

Spruce Street could close to vehicles from Pacific Avenue to the San Lorenzo River levee as part of a proposed Santa Cruz Downtown expansion plan. (Stephen Baxter — Santa Cruz Local)
Key takeaways

The Pajaronian logo LOCAL NEWS
New County Government Center Open for Business

Three years after the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted to purchase the former West Marine building on Westridge Drive, a convergence of city and county officials gathered at the site Tuesday to celebrate its new incarnation.

Good Times logo LOCAL NEWS
Food Bin Housing Approved

The Santa Cruz City Council unanimously approved a 48-unit housing project at the current site of the Food Bin and Herb Room on May 28 after the developer submitted plans for 59 units on the site.

Santa Cruz Local logo LOCAL NEWS
Santa Cruz Reaches Housing Goals While County, Other Cities Fail

Pacific Station South, in background, is a 69-unit affordable housing complex on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz that is expected to finish construction this summer. Pacific Station North began construction this year and its 128 affordable units are anticipated to …

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo LOCAL NEWS
Exhibit: The National Monument on Santa Cruz’s North Coast

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History presents ‘Cotoni-Coast Dairies: Monumental Steps,’ celebrating a unique piece of land and the folks who protected it.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo LOCAL NEWS
Museum of Natural History Explores Cotoni-Coast Dairies

The original exhibit, “Cotoni-Coast Dairies: Monumental Steps,” looks at the soon-to-be-open National Monument on Santa Cruz County’s North Coast.

The Pajaronian logo LOCAL NEWS
A Call to End Homelessness

Nearly 300 people marched the streets of downtown Santa Cruz May 18 to help end homelessness.

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Scotts Valley Makes Progress on Parks Plan

Scotts Valley City Council held a special joint study session with the Parks and Recreation Commission on May 1 to envision the full scope of recreation options for the city.

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Watsonville Kicks Off Ramsay Park Renaissance Project

Watsonville city officials gathered Friday to break ground on a major renovation and upgrade for Ramsay Park.


Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz, which might be a huge resort if not for the Coastal Commission.
The Public Shore Protectors
Born amid controversy, this public agency is responsible for managing some of the most precious real estate in the world.
Zoning laws tell you what you can and can't build on the property you own. How does government get away with that?
How Zoning Laws Shape California and Society
Zoning is everywhere, but is it a way to regulate development or a tool for social engineering?
How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland
From its earliest days as a state, California has been trying to turn marshes into productive land.
Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does
How a nuclear plant, a real estate development and an oil spill led to a landmark law.
The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land
Starting in 1976, the legislature began creating agencies to buy up open land, and keep it open.
Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law
54-year-old environmental law is often blamed for causing the state’s housing crisis. Is it getting a bad rap?
The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works
More than half of California farmland is under contracts that prevent its development.
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